How to Remove a Deceased Person From a Property Deed in Michigan

By Lindsay Nixon

In Michigan, when someone dies, his property is transferred to the beneficiaries named in his will, or to his heirs if he died intestate---that is, without a will. In most instances, the estate of a deceased will go through probate where the court, or the named executor of the deceased will, transfers property from the deceased to the heirs or beneficiaries. Typically, this is accomplished by using a quit claim deed. A quit claim deed is a legal document that transfers the property the original owner has to someone else without any warranty.

Identify how the property was owned. In Michigan, there are three types of joint property ownership: Tenancy in Common, Tenancy by Entireties and Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship. If the property was owned jointly via Tenancy by Entireties or Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship, the deceased person's interest passes to the other owner automatically outside of the probate process. In these kinds of cases, the procedure for removing the deceased name from the deed is purely administrative. Contact the deed recording office and ask what proof they need to remove the name. Typically you need to bring a copy of the death certificate and fill out a short form provided by the clerk at the office.

Property not held jointly or property held jointly through Tenancy in Common has to go through the probate court.

Fill out and file a probate petition with the Michigan probate court in your area. If the deceased left property in her will, the probate court will use a fiduciary deed signed by the executor of the estate to transfer the property to the beneficiary. A fiduciary deed is a deed that transfers property when the grantor (the deceased) transfers property to someone else through a will. Fiduciary deeds, however, are governed by state laws, which can vary by state. By implementing a fiduciary deed, a new deed is created and in effect, the deceased's name from the deed is removed.

However, if the deceased died intestate, or the property was not left in the will, the deceased's property will be divided among the deceased's heirs in accordance with Michigan inheritance law. A quit claim deed will then be used to transfer the interest to the heirs thereby removing the deceased name from the deed.

File the new deed with deed recording office.

About the Author

Lindsay Nixon has been writing since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Vegetarian Times," "Women's Health Magazine" and online for The Huffington Post. She is also a published author, lawyer and certified personal trainer. Nixon has two Bachelors of Arts in classics and communications from the College of Charleston and a Juris Doctor from the New England School of Law.

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